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Sitting down is the new smoking – exercise in a Covid-19 world

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Now the world is in lock down because of the Coronavirus I bet you will be spending most of your time sitting down watching TV or working on the computer, only to then later sit down some more and watch some more TV… or like me just playing computer games all day. But I bet you didn’t know that sitting down can be pretty harmful to your health as well.

“Sitting Down is the new Smoking” is a phrase coined by Dr. James Levine, director of Mayo Clinic at Arizona State University.

Here is a secret you didn’t know about me, I have been a Personal Trainer all my life, always involved in physical sports and competed in competitions since primary school. But I have also been a huge gaming fan. I’m not talking about typical guy games like Call of Duty on the Xbox either. I mean super geeky, strategy games on the PC, like Command & Conquer and Eve Online, which is as geeky as it gets. Even now I host a 7 Days to Die dedicated server, which is like Minecraft 2 but for adults. 

“Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death,” says James Levine, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, in an interview with the LA Times. 

Ever since MS DOS was the main operating system of the worlds home computer, I was sitting down at one playing games for hours on end. But I don’t have the generic postural problems the majority of my clients have from sitting down for hours at the office jobs. This is probably because I am aware of it and do my best to counter its negative effects. 

But sitting down for too long isn’t just about back pain and postural issues. There is a huge amount of other health related issues you could get from it.

Why is sitting down so bad for you?

Research has shown that you increase the risk of getting cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease by sitting down for too long. Your metabolism slows down by 90% after just 30 minutes of sitting, the enzymes that transport fat from your arteries to the muscles where its burned off are slowed down. And after 2 hours of sitting, good cholesterol is reduced by 20%. 

“The chair is out to kill us.”

Sitting down for too long also turns off the muscles in your lower body, shutting down the electrical activity in your legs. It also causes our body to be less sensitive to insulin which causes your body’s ability to burn calories to drop significantly.

Good news is, getting up every 30 minutes will help, walking around a bit and do some stretches for about 5 minutes will get things going again. With all the gyms, fitness centers and yoga studios closed we are forced to come up with ideas to stay healthy and active at home. 

My friend Kim White is live streaming her Yoga classes on Facebook. So, if you’re feeling stiff or bored you can follow along with her live classes for free. You might even see me stream some home workouts as well.

Either way I hope you all stay safe at home and just remember to keep moving around and stretch for a few moments every 30 minutes of sitting down. Stay active, stay productive.

There’s also countless Apps you can download which can help you exercise and keep track of your non-sitting activities. And how about your own dancer-case class with one of your fave YouTube clips? Or become a clean freak and get about doing a daily routine cleaning the house. Even better get out and do all those jobs in the garden that needed doing. Really, the more you look around your house, the more there is to do, and now is the best time to do it!

Whatever you do, don’t sit down all day – it’s as bad as smoking!

Sitting down is the new smoking - exercise in a Covid-19 world | News by Thaiger

Krix Luther is a Phuket-based fitness and health leader.

 

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